If you ever had a Tamagotchi in the ’90s, you likely recall the addictive yet infuriating experience of keeping those damn little blobs alive. You’d spend months feeding them, playing with them, cleaning up their poop, only to forget it at home one day and it would die. Those chirps. Those cursed chirp!
Well, if you want to relive that euphoric stress, you’re in luck. Game designer Joe Magdalena of Niantic Inc. (formerly Blizz) has designed a simple yet difficult computer game that simulates caring for six Tamagotchis at once. “I wasn’t planning on doing #LudumDare (48 hr game jam) but damn I was hit with a wave of inspiration” Magdalena tweeted Friday, referring to the semi-annual Lumdum Dare competition, which challenges designers to create a game in under 48 hours. The theme for April’s challenge was “Keep It Alive,” which made Magdalena think of a season-five Schitt’s Creek episode in which David (Dan Levy) is reticent to leave his sister Alexis (Annie Murphy) in charge of his store. “Is this about those stupid Tamagotchis?” Alexis asks her brother. “You left me with six of them, David. Taking care of that many is like a full-time job!”
“Tried to reproduce the functions of old tamagotchis best I could remember and then have them run at warp speed,” Magdalena tweeted as he worked on the project. The end result, as described by the designer, is thus: “Your brother David has left you, Alexis, in charge of his 6 ADULT virtual pets that are in PERFECT HEALTH! How long can you keep them all alive and happy? After they’re all dead (they WILL die) you’ll get a score for how long they all stayed alive for.”
Magdalena’s Turbogotchi is free to play. We lasted “51 days” on our first try, “59 days” on second. Let us know how you do.